Summer Intensives Faculty

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Naomi Barker

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Naomi Barker was raised in rural Routt County and has enjoyed a love of horses her whole life. She learned classical horsemanship and both english and western riding in United States Pony Club and 4-H, and has competed locally and regionally in many horse shows, gymkhanas, 3-day events and rodeos. With a degree in Elementary Education and Sustainability Studies, Naomi now focuses on passing her experience to young riders. She has been on faculty at Perry-Mansfield since 2005.

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Christopher Compton

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Christopher Compton is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Arizona School of Dance in Tucson, Arizona. He teaches Ballet Technique, Ballet Repertory, Partnering, Men’s Technique, Modern Dance, and Theatre Dance. Christopher holds an MFA from the University of Arizona School of Dance with an Emphasis in Choreography and Performance and a BFA in Ballet from the University of the Arts. Christopher has performed principal roles in the works of Twyla Tharp, George Balanchine, Paul Taylor, Alan Hineline, Andrew Pap, Scott Thyberg, Douglas Nielsen and Michael Williams. As a dancer for Twyla Tharp, Christopher performed principal roles in the Tony-Award winning Movin’ Out. Additionally, Christopher performed the role of ‘Johnny,’ made famous by Patrick Swayze, in the North American Premiere of Dirty Dancing. Christopher has been on faculty at Perry-Mansfield since 2010.

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Tamara Dyke-Compton

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Tamara Dyke-Compton is an Assistant Professor at The University of Arizona School of Dance in Tucson, Arizona. She teaches jazz technique, modern technique, choreography and dance ensemble. In addition she also teaches a section of Dance History and Teaching Methods. She earned her MFA in dance with an emphasis in choreography and performance from the University of Arizona in 2013. In 2003, she earned her BFA from the Juilliard School, under  the direction of Benjamin Harkarvy and Lawrence Rhodes. Tamara has been on faculty at many dance schools, community colleges and dance conventions across the U.S. and Canada. She has been on faculty for Dance Masters of America, Domain Forget in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and The Dance Project in Toronto,Ontario, Canada. Tamara has also subbed for David Marquez at Broadway Dance Center in NYC, and The Alvin Ailey School in NYC. During the summers Tamara is the co-director of dance with her husband Chirstopher Compton at Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School & Camp in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Tamara has performed principal roles for Twyla Tharp, in her Broadway first national tour of “Movin’ Out,” from 2003-2008, and toured with the first national Broadway tour of “Fame” the musical from 1998-2000. She has appeared in various industrials, music videos, commercials and benefits performing with stars such as Paula Abdul, Patti LaBelle, Mary Kate and Ashley Olson and Ted Danson and working for choreographers such as Michael Rooney, Marguerite Derricks, Jimmy Locust and Joe Lanteri. Tamara has been a company member with NOVA Ballet and Convergence Ballet in Phoenix, Arizona. Dancing with The Juilliard Dance Ensemble, Tamara was proud to perform the works of choreographers such as Robert Battle, Aszure Barton, Peter Chu, Darrell Grand Moultrie and Jose Limón. She was one of Aszure Barton’s first company members with Aszure Barton and Artists, at the Joyce Soho in NYC, Tamara also performed with Robert Battle’s Battleworks at City Center Studios in NYC.

Her choreography has been seen at The Clark Studio Theatre in Lincoln Center, The Juilliard Theatre, Ballet Jazz De Montreal, Jazz World Congress, Tokyo Japan, Perry Mansfield Performing Arts Camp, Domain Forget Performing Arts Camp, The Stevie Eller Theatre, Scottsdale Community College, Glendale Community College and many dance schools across the USA and Canada. Her choreography was chosen to be performed at The Benjamin Harkarvy Memorial at The Juilliard Theatre in 2002. During Tamara’s education at the University of Arizona she was able to choreograph the musicals “Nine” and “Batboy” the for University of Arizona School of Theatre Film and Television. Also, during her graduate degree she served as an adjudicator for The Arizona Jazz Dance Showcase. In 2013, Tamara was the recipient of The Ralphie Spirit Award from The University of Arizona School of Dance.Tammy is a proud Perry Mansfield alumnus!

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Abbey O’Brien

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Broadway’s Moulin Rouge – Resident Director, Waitress – Global Associate Director/Choreographer, Jagged Little Pill – Associate Choreographer. Director: The Rocky Horror Show, Meet Me in St. Louis, 13 the musical, A Quarantine Cabaret. Performing credits: Broadway’s Spamalot, Pal Joey, Radio City Rockette. Her diverse career allows her to educated our young artist with the most current knowledge and experience. She is passionate about passing down her expertise to the next generation of artist. More at abbeyo.com 
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Tate Chu

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A professional opera singer, vocalist, performer, and voice/piano instructor. Performance: Great soprano roles-Musetta (La bohème), Gilda (Rigoletto), Nedda (I Pagliacci). Musicals: Phantom of the Opera, Grease, Once on This Island. She has sung alongside Andrea Bocelli, Kathleen Battle, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic and recorded with various labels, including SONY Classical Records. Students will benefit from her well-rounded and thorough knowledge of performance, music theory, and aural skills. Master’s degree in opera performance at Manhattan School of Music.

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Melanie Cotton

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Melanie Cotton (Choreographer-Master Teacher): A choreographer, dancer, educator and theater artist. Melanie’s performance and creative practice integrates various techniques into her work: clown, musical theater, improvisation, along with Hip Hop dance and street styles. Melanie imparts the ingenuity and originality of hip hop culture to her work as a choreographer and theater artist. She considers her work in dance theater as a place for investigation, experimentation, the opportunity to challenge social issues and to build community. Choreography: Red 40’s The Best Songs in the WorldThe Legend of Georgia McBrideThe AppointmentLove Notes: A year of no regrets. Performance: Bill Irwin’s The Happiness LectureIt’s My Party: The Women in Comedy ProjectIn The HeightsMash Up BodyThe Swamp is OnThe Way I Walk.

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Ilana Goldman

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Ilana Goldman is an Assistant Professor of dance at Florida State University and has taught and choreographed for schools and companies across the country. She received her BFA from The Juilliard School, where she was awarded the John Erskine Prize for Artistic and Academic Excellence, and her MFA from the University of Washington. She danced professionally as a principal dancer with Oakland Ballet and Sacramento Ballet, as a member of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, as a guest artist with Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, and most recently as a dancer with Trey McIntyre Project. Her two short dance films,Convergence and Fledgling, have screened at numerous international film festivals.

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Jamey Grisham

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A multidisciplinary storyteller, Jamey Grisham’s body of work spans six continents, 80 countries, and more than 100 productions and venues worldwide. His ventures have garnered six Encore Michigan Wilde Awards, six Travel Weekly Magellan Awards, and a THEA Award. Jamey is a proud member of the Actors’ Equity Association, where he currently serves in national governance, SAG-AFTRA, Dramatists Guild, AFM (Local 2-197), ASCAP, NATS, and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. With training from Brown University (M.F.A, Stephen Sondheim Fellow), Roosevelt University (B.F.A, Newberry Library Fellow), and Harvard University, Jamey is an Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre in the Conservatory for the Performing Arts at Stephens College.

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Marquez Johnson

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Marquez Johnson is a current principal dancer with Tucson based contemporary dance company Artifact Dance Project. As well, he is on faculty as an adjunct instructor with the University of Arizona’s School of Dance. Marquez holds an MFA in Dance from the University of Arizona as well as a BFA in Dance and a BA in Communication. While at the University of Arizona, He has performed works by Sam Watson, Douglas Nielsen, Amy Ernst, José Limón, David Berkey and Ohad Naharin. He was a rehearsal assistant for Miguel Perez in his piece “Before Reality Sets In” and Michele Gifford in the restaging of “The American” by Charles Wheeldon. Recently, he performed the role of Baby Face Nelson in Artifact’s premiere of Surrounding Dillinger and has completed performing the role of Holofernes in the premier of Judith and their production of Downtown. He taught contemporary dance and premiered a new work entitled “…to an end” in Artifact Dance Project’s Summer Intensive in 2017. He was also commissioned to create a new piece for Tucson’s MLK Celebration entitled “What Good Am I”. Under the direction of Michael Williams, he participated as a co-host for the Arizona Jazz Dance Showcase while completing his thesis work, “Forecast”. Marquez has been a guest artist for the Barbea Williams Performance Company, performing and choreographing Africana-centered excerpts. He, as well, was a guest artist for Ballet Rincon and Arizona Arts Collective and Coalition in their production of The Nutcracker while teaching at local dance studios Danswest and Dance Force 1. Currently, Marquez just finished his ninth season with Artifact Dance Project and is the co-director of the College of Fine Arts Step Up Outreach Dance Program. Marquez is honored to be surrounded by inspiring teaching artists and choreographers while working alongside with them this summer as a part of the Perry Mansfield teaching faculty.

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Grasan Kingsberry

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Grasan Kingsberry, originally from Charlotte, NC, is a Daytime Emmy®, Grammy®, ACCA, and Regional BroadwayWorld Award winning artist. After receiving a BFA from The Juilliard School, he went on to appear in 11 Broadway productions. He was featured in the 2018 Tony Award® best revival Once On This Island. He was a part of workshopping and developing the 2005 original Broadway cast as well as the 2015 Tony, Grammy, and Emmy winning revival of The Color Purple. Other Broadway shows include: Motown, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Leap of Faith, On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Finian’s Rainbow, Catch Me If You Can, and Aida. Regional theater roles include Something Rotten! [William Shakespeare]; Musical Theatre West; In The Heights [Benny]; Music Theatre of Wichita (2019 Regional BroadwayWorld Award), Annie [H. Morgenthau]; Hollywood Bowl, One Night In Miami [Sam Cooke]; Center Stage, Dreamgirls [Curtis]; NorthShore. TV: Mozart in the Jungle, Smash, Royal Pains, All My Children, Today Show, Late Night with Seth Meyers, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Late Show with David Letterman, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Film: The Aerialist (2019), and I Am Legend. He has worked with countless notable artists such as Beyoncé, Michelle Williams, Deborah Cox, Toni Braxton, Jennifer Hudson, Jennifer Holliday, John Lithgow, Harry Connick, Jr., Alan Menken, Matthew Broderick, Kelli O’Hara, and Wynton Marsalis. Aside from his fruitful career as a performer, Grasan is also an international teacher, choreographer, and mentor who currently serves as a Lecturer in Dance for Musical Theater at USC Kaufman. He is also the Co-founder of {subject to change}, a gender-neutral streetwear clothing brand, and the Co-owner of a basenji named Kayode.

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Rachel Pantazis

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Rachel Pantazis (Music Director-Vocal Teacher-Private Lessons): A classically trained soprano, musical theatre performer, commercial model, film actress, and vocal teacher based in New York City. She is a classically trained Soprano with extensive musical theatre experience. Rachel has performed nationally and internationally, on land and sea for audiences. She cannot wait to share her love for sight singing and music theory. Performance: Hunchback of Norte Dame, Ragtime, Oklahoma, Last 5 Years. She is so excited to be spending her summer at Perry-Mansfield!

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Kurt Phelan

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Award-winning actor from Australia. Performing credits: Dirty Dancing, Rent, American Idiot, Reefer Madness, Last 5 Years. TV: The Guy and many national commercials. Graduate of the National Institute of Dramatic Arts.

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Whitney Popp

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Whitney Popp began training with Mid Columbia Ballet in Washington, and later trained at Pacific Northwest Ballet. She then spent 5 years as a principal dancer with Sacramento Ballet performing many lead roles such as Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, leads in numerous Balanchine ballets, and the Cowgirl in Agnes de Milles Rodeo, just to name a few. Whitney was chosen to perform in many works by outstanding choreographers as well, such as Dwight Rhoden, Amy Siewert, and Val Cannaparoli. After moving to New York, she was discovered by Twyla Tharp and joined Twyla Tharp Dance. Whitney toured Europe with Twyla Tharp Dance and went on to become one of Twyla’s leading principals for the creation of several new works. Whitney also joined the 1st Nat’l Broadway tour of Movin’ Out performing multiple lead roles. She later toured Europe once again, this time with her husband Corbin, performing more works by Twyla Tharp. Whitney has had the privilege of teaching all over the world and lives in Colorado with her husband and their three children. Whitney is also a co-founder of the performing company Lightwire Theater based in New Orleans that finished in the semi finals of Americas’ Got Talent in 2013.

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Erika Pujic

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Erika Pujic was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio where she began her dance training at the School of Cleveland Ballet. She went on to receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the Juilliard School where she was the recipient of the Martha Hill Award. Upon graduation, Ms. Pujič danced with Gloria Marina’s Spanish Dance Ensemble performing in New Jersey Opera’s “Carmen”. She was a principal dancer and rehearsal director for Henning Rubsam’s SENSEDANCE for seven years. Ms. Pujič was a founding member and rehearsal director for Battleworks Dance Company during it’s 10 year span (2000-2010). She has been an integral part of the creation of many works for Robert Battle and she has been dancing and setting his works for over 22 years.

She was a Visiting Guest Professor at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque for the Fall 2013 and 2014 semester. Ms. Pujic is currently a full time lecturer for the Skidmore College Dance Department, teaches at George Mason University, and has been an Adjunct at Queensborough Community College since 2008. She has created works for The Ailey School, Marymount Manhattan College, Long Island University Brooklyn Campus, University of New Mexico, ABT’s Summer Intensives, Summer Arts Institute, Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School, and New York State Summer School of the Arts. Ms. Pujič is also performing, teaching and creating curriculums for the American Dance Legacy Initiative (ADLI).

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Dawn Testa

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Originally from New York, Dawn began her career as a print and television commercial stylist.

Her focus turned to on set film work with Good Will Hunting and Amistad. Working closely with script supervisors, Dawn maintained continuity closely monitoring accuracy and the integrity of the character

Working freelance in costume construction Dawn was often called to work in costume shops throughout the city. Building costumes for dance companies from Paul Taylor, Lar Lubovitch and Alvin Ailey to Broadway. She continued to work with directors and choreographers at Perry-Mansfield where she designed, constructed and supervised the costume shop for 16 summers.

Dawn joined the Savannah College of Art and Design community in 1999 as a founding member of the new Theatre Arts Program. In her capacity as Professor of Costume Design and program development coordinator she designed over 100 theatrical and musical theatre productions.

Dawn Testa returns to Perry-Mansfield this summer to offer classes and begin development on a new technical theatre and design program which will be fully launched in Summer 2023!

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Curtis Thomas

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Curtis Thomas (Choreographer and Master Teacher):
Associate Choreographer on the National Tour of Waitress and made his Broadway Debut on Waitress. A performing career that has spanned both concert dance and theater, he has worked with artists such as Banning Bouldin, Diane Paulus, David Dorfman, Kayla Farrish and Margot Gelber. He is also a creative and curricular consultant working to merge the worlds of computer programming, education, and dance

Academy Faculty

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Ebany Rae

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More Information Coming Soon!

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Marje Tracy

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After attending the University of Connecticut, Marje graduated from TheAmerican Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. For many years, shecontinued to study acting with Robert Modica at Carnegie Hall and singing withMaurice Jampol and Marianne Challis. She continued her studies in Connecticutwith acting coach Doug Taylor and voice with Beverly Lambert and Susan Terry.She has played the roles of Ellie in Showboat, Petra in A Little Night Music, andConnie in South Pacific at the Darien Dinner Theatre. Additional roles she hasperformed are Sally in Cabaret, Gladys in Pajama Game, Annie in Annie Get YourGun, Lucille in No No Nanette, Reno in Anything Goes and many others. She hasdirected and choreographed musicals at Joel Barlow High School in Connecticut aswell as directing Follies for 13 years, a musical revue made up of students from 20different high schools in Fairfield and New Haven Counties. In Steamboat, for thepast 4 years, she has been teaching acting and voice to middle and high schoolstudents. Last fall she directed Legally Blonde Jr. at Steamboat Springs MiddleSchool. She is a Broker Associate at Steamboat Sotheby’s International. Marjeenjoys golf, pickleball, Zumba, yoga, barre, walking her Standard Poodle Sammyand spending time with her family here in Steamboat and back east.